Lots of Lightning

Discussing the Weird Lightning Phenomena of the Earth

Ball Lightning

This phenomenon has been one of the most unexplained natural processes on the planet within the last 100 years. A common theory is that it forms when lightning strikes the ground and vaporizes the silicate (silicon and oxygen) minerals in soil. Carbon then minimizes the silicate due to chemical reactions, creating a gas, which then recombines and reacts with oxygen, producing the ''floating'' glow. Scientists in China recently recorded the footage of this strange weather. It was the first time this kind of lightning had been seen to be created with a cloud to ground strike. The ball can drift along the sky horizontally and vertically, and can last for one to more than ten seconds.

Sprite Lightning

These gigantic (yet weak) strikes occur high above cumulonimbus clouds, and can differ in shape and size. They are very luminous, bright, and are usually a reddish-orange color. They occur when large electrical discharges (between positive lightning, an underlying cloud, and the ground) happen above thunderstorms. They are in groups, and occur generally at 50-90 km above Earth's surface. These spectacular, ¨jellyfish-like flash¨ have been witnessed thousands of times throughout the Earth.
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-Diagram of the formation of regular lightning occurring in nature.

Jayson Klaumann